A Dock of Fish with Luck O' the Irish Guide Service
06/15/02 with Texas HuntFish Team - Written by Mike Davidson
Our Saturday started early. Normally, I am not known to be up very early on a weekend morning, but when your dad gives you a call at 5 minutes to 4:00, in the AM, there had better be a good reason. We had one.
This past Saturday my favorite fishing buddies Jim Davidson, Bud Hicks and Matt Winebrenner and I were heading to Cedar Creek Lake to go fishing with expert Fishing Guide, Omar Cotter, of Luck O' The Irish Guide Service. Our morning started out as many early morning fishing trips begin, not a lot of sleep, lots of coffee and quite dressing and exiting (as to not wake the wife or kids).
We loaded in the Suburban at 4:45 AM headed east on 175 to Cedar Creek. At 5:45 AM a big breakfast at The Country Kitchen on 274 was in order and we settled down to a big country breakfast near the lake. Great food for those who haven't been there. Our mission, following the annihilation of sausage, eggs, biscuits and pancakes was to meet Omar at 6:15 AM at Fisherman Warf Marina for a day of fishing on the lake. Omar and I had been planning this trip for three months. Due to several changes in our schedule, Omar and I had to plan the trip more than once. I knew that Omar would be a good guy to fish with even if the fishing was tough as he was courteous and flexible on the phone as we made several trip changes.
We walked out on the dock and met Omar standing in the bow of his brand new 19' Travis Edition 2002 Fish Master with a 4-stroke 140 hp Suzuki engine. After looking at this boat, I knew that if the fishing were tough, we would at least enjoy chasing the fish around the lake in this boat.
We hopped right in with a few handshakes and introductions and were on our way. It was apparent right from the start that Omar knows Cedar Creek Lake well. Omar took us on a 5 min drive to a spot that he felt would be a good start. There were several other boats in the area and it was apparent that there were not a lot of fish being caught. We quickly started the engine back up and headed north again on the lake. This time to an area where there were no boats, but lots of activity under the LCD.
Throwing 1 oz sliver dollar white and chartreuse slabs with Bass Pro rods, quantum spinning reels and 12 lb Stren clear blue easy fishing line we started hunting for Cedar Creek sand bass. It wasn't long before we saw some fish schooling in the area where Omar had us and it was even shorter before the fish started hitting our bait.
I have been fishing all of my life, but never have we hammered the fish like we did that morning. From about 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM I don't think more than a minute or two would pass before someone in our boat had a fish on. We slammed sand bass, yellow bass and even caught a few catfish.
It wasn't long before the other fishing boats on the lake began to notice our success. What was truly amazing was that even after the other boats would follow our lead our boat we still out-fished them. Our boat caught more fish than all of the other boats (about 5-6) combined. One gentleman who knows Cedar Creek well asked how we were out fishing him 30 - 1. I can tell you it wasn't just the fishing ability of Omar's customers. Omar did a great job of putting us on the fish with just the right tools and coaching. Furthermore, he hooked into a big-catfish and handed the rod to Matt. I won't say exactly how long Matt fought the fish, but needless to say it was the only sad moment of the day.
At 9:30 AM our boat had already caught our limit of sand bass (125 fish). We continued to catch fish until about 11:00 AM and headed over to the marina for great burger and chips. After lunch we headed back to Fisherman's Wharf exhausted from catching fish. We unloaded our fish on the dock, took a few pictures of our catch and started cleaning. Good thing Omar had all of the right equipment and is an expert at cleaning fish or we would have been there all day.
After putting the filets on ice we thanked Omar for what was truly a great day of fishing. It was apparent after several hours with Omar that he is a guide who not only knows how to catch fish, but also who works really hard to make sure the customer has a great time.
Our only remorse
Matt lost the big fish.
1.) What is your most favorite fishing memory?
A) It is really difficult to pick one out of a lifetime on Texas lakes and rivers. In all that, I would have to choose taking my Dad out on the dam at Lake Meredith in the Panhandle several years ago. My dad was older and couldn't see very well, yet he made the long walk down the dam at dusk just to be with me. The Sand Bass came up and started schooling in easy casting range. I just sat in front of him taking his fish off and putting them on the stringer and watching him laugh like he was a kid. I lost my father a few months ago but I'll never forget that evening we shared.
2.) What do you expect from your clients?
A) I only have one expectation - Have fun and smile! (It looks better in the pictures)
3.) What should your clients expect from you?
A) A hard working guide who will do everything he can to make your day on the lake successful and fun. I also tell it like it is, if the fishing is tough, they'll know that going in.
4.) Is there a limit to the amount of clients you can take out at once, and if so what is the limit?
A) I can comfortably fish four or five people on my boat. If necessary though I have a network of fellow guides that can assist me with just about any size group.
5.) What do you think is the best way fishermen can give back to the sport of fishing which has given them so much?
A) Take every reasonable opportunity to take a child or a novice angler out and teach them the sport. Also if you have the chance donate your time to the handicapped or others less fortunate and give them a day on the water.
6.) Why should the Texas Hunting & Fishing Network's visitors pick your service over other guide services in the Central and South Texas Regions?
A) Our guide service is family owned and operated. We love taking families out fishing and enjoy being the ones' that do the "work" to ensure they have a great day. I don't allow alcohol on my boat. I am there to take you fishing, not drinking. I do everything I can to make your experience the best it can be. I fish four major area lakes which gives my customers a greater chance for "getting on the fish".
7.) Are there some packages or types of trips you offer that you would recommend to fishermen?
A) This fall I'll be offering combo trips for Hybrid Stripers and Catfish on Cedar Creek. I also hope to offer "Blast & Cast" trips in conjunction with The Big Woods Hunting preserve. Hunt ducks with them in the morning, and fish the afternoon with me.
8.) If you could tell ALL fishermen in Texas anything - what would it be?
A) Whatever you do... don't let your love of fishing and the outdoors end with you. Pass it on!
For those of you who would like to go fishing with Omar you can call him at 817-274-5489, 682-553-0107 or 817-937-8755 or visit his website at www.luckotheirish.net.
We are already planning our next trip!
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